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A Conversation with Jane Rosen: Hawk Story

September 21, 2018 - Richard Whittaker

I met Jane Rosen not long after I’d begun publishing an art magazine. She was living in a rented house on a horse ranch near San Gregorio Beach forty miles south of San Francisco, and was unmistakably, a New Yorker. In fact, she was having a hard time making a decision. Would she make her career in New York, where she already had a great start, or trust her chances in northern California in the Bay Area? She’d gone back and forth, literally, over a period of some years from East Coast to West Coast and back. She’d taught at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and at Stanford in Palo Alto. And at one point, she was offered a tenured position at Bard, where she’d be teaching with a close friend, Judy Pfaff.   To read the whole article click here.

Seasonal Documentation

September 18, 2018 - Aesthetica Magazine

Pure and Simple: Shelter Island Artist Kathryn Lynch

July 13, 2018 - Samantha McConnel

Artist Kathryn Lynch does not take it as an insult if you call her work “primitive.” Far from it. Though she prefers to call herself a “simplist” – more specifically a “representational simplist,” she is quick to point out that it is “very hard to be simple.”

Her paintings, she says, look so easy they inspire others to pick up a brush. Then they discover: “‘Damn, that’s hard.’ They don’t understand why it doesn’t work.”

Unlike true primitivists, Lynch underwent formal training, receiving her MFA from the University of Pennsylvania. “I can very quickly get the gist of something, which does take skill.”

Whether working out of her Brooklyn or Shelter Island studios, the artist spends a couple of hours a day walking. It is on these forays that she finds her subjects. She does not necessarily seek out her material, rather she allows things “to stick out and grab me.” But there are certain subjects that seem to pop up regularly: landscapes and seascapes, of course. But also flowers and cityscapes and such New York icons as tug boats. She completed a series of dog images after her children begged her successfully for a puppy. Studies in illumination are also rampant. “I often paint night,” she says, remarking on how the light diffuses. “East Coast light especially always has a softness to it where things kind of melt into each other.”

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Five Contemporary Finds at AIPAD 2018

April 8, 2018 - Kat Kiernan

Hunters and Hustlers: Feminism and Theatricality in Suzy Spence and Heather Morgan

February 15, 2018 - Wen Tao

A major element of early feminist art criticism came down to detective work. Outing the male gaze in paintings of female subjects was akin to using black light to reveal traces of blood at a crime scene. Form, facture and viewpoint served as evidence in a forensic process – manifestations of objectification, voyeurism and idealization were exposed.

Nowadays, the crime scene is complicated, especially where female authorship is concerned. In paintings of women by women, thanks to a sense of intimate self-knowledge, what has begun to emerge are emphatic – indeed, empathetic – attempts to maneuver the inherent theatricality of being subjected to the gazed. The subject can become complicit and resigned to being a displayed object, or lay out an elaborate performative trap in which the unaware spectator devours the bait. Two current shows present different but equally intriguing examples of such maneuvering: Suzy Spence’s A Night Among the Horses, ongoing at Sears Peyton Gallery in Chelsea, and Heather Morgan’s Heavenly Creatures, at David Schweitzer Gallery, last month, in Bushwick.

Suzy Spence: A Night Among the Horses

January 24, 2018 - William Corwin

Suzy Spence is not afraid to go where our darker thoughts wander when we think of the regalia and and ritual of the hunt. Amidst the overt presence of violent death, the gnashing of the hounds' teeth, and the sweaty flanks of the steeds is the other primal urge of sex.

Both males and females don the plumage of pink coats and top hats in an aristocratic dance of seduction, but in this case the artist has chosen to lampoon the male gaze by pushing the fetishization of the woman hunter into the wider zone of sexualized object. The Optimist (2017) and Untitled Riders (2017) present huntresses in various states of dishabille, while Death by Black Horse II (2017) doubles as both a bloody trampling of a rider and a retelling of Pasiphae and the bull. The loose and fluid brushstrokes of the monochromatic flashe works lend a witty spontaneity reminiscent of Thomas Rowlandson's pithy caricatures, while the polychrome pieces are darker and a bit more stiff-upper-lip.

More Women in the Art World: Karen J. Revis

January 17, 2018 - Or Does it Explode

THE LIST: Suzy Spence at Sears-Peyton

January 11, 2018 - David Cohen

Luxuriance is more than a painterly quality in the work of Suzy Spence. It is a symbolic form. Bravura paint handling conveys the very sense of sport that is her motif in images of the hunt. Riders throw themselves with panache into the chase without attendant loss of elegance or control. Their very sweat is decorous in an almost heraldic balance of vitality and poise. There is a corresponding dialectic in Spence’s attitude towards her subject matter. Her catalogue essayist, Amy Rahn, deftly describes the feminist and class critique at the heart of her gender-bending approach while equally acknowledging her personal investment in riding, her participation in the culture that she observes. “The way these paintings slip—between genre and critique of genre, between a love of the sartorial poses of foxhunting and a critique of their masculine power, and between portraiture and figurative painting—give us a glimpse of something dark and rich that hammers the ground between critical thought and sensuous painting.” The full throttle romance of “the drag” (the term for hunting with a substitute fox segues sexily into the fey innocence of Spence’s idealized sorority of latter-day Artemises) speaks to an artist who hunts with the hounds and runs with the hares. DAVID COHEN

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